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In living legends

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He is, he said: Swinging through for his first Triangle appearance since '87, the now long-in-the-tooth Neil Diamond (pictured) is bringing his "new, electrifying show" to Raleigh. Even now, as he straddles the fine line between living legend and kitsch god (thanks to films like Saving Silverman and cult fave, Neil Diamond Parking Lot), Diamond somehow remains forever in blue jeans. This tour finds Diamond with a refigured stage setup to accommodate a horn and string section. He's performing material from his CD, Three Chord Opera, but no doubt he'll crack out the crackling rosé, testify about the charms of a Kentucky woman and try to convince you he's just a solitary man (the song where his legions of middle-aged female fans reach for their hankies or panties ... to throw). Even if this show isn't Hot August Night revisited--even if it's chock full of medleys and displays of great-auntie-ish female affection of the like that went out with Liberace--this is the place to be. And hell, the guy wrote a batch of amazing songs, so forgive him for the occasional hunk o' cheese and turn on your heartlight already. Diamond performs this Tuesday, March 12, at the Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Center. Call 834-4000 or visit www. esa-today.com for details. -Angie Carlson

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